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Sunday, 19 May 2013

confession #000051

... or,  idle hands are the devil's workshop

ok, maybe not quite. but this morning i actually caught up with something that had been on my to-do list for over a year: customising my trusty converse hi-top chucks with some studs. and i'm so chuffed i did it, i had to blog about it!

well, when i had started seeing all sorts of customisations being made on converse sneakers about a year ago, i had looked around in some haberdasheries in malta for studs and i'm sorry to say that (at least the ones i went to) weren't stocked in that department.  i had looked up some on e-bay but i guess, knowing how impatient i tend to be at times, waiting a few days or weeks to receive a small packet of studs didn't seem worth the hassle at the time. 

what with spending most of the winter wearing either office shoes (i.e. heeled brogues) or snow-boots, i had almost forgotten about this whim.  

until, last march when i was in berlin and while browsing the accessories stand in the divided section at h&m, i came across some packets of studs for d-i-y embellishments.  i was jubilant. i quickly threw a packet of gold studs and a packet of silver ones in my carrier bag together with the other stuff i was intent on buying.  now, i almost regret not getting more packets 'just in case' but still, with the little that i had, i finally (two months later!) managed to accomplish what i planned to do a year ago.  here's how i went about it in case you want to try your hand at customising your own sneakers (or anything else really!): 

  1. since i had two different coloured packets, and on closer inspection, i realised that both had two shapes of studs (squares and triangles), i decided to first sort them out to see how many i have of each. i had 15 of each square and oddly enough 14 gold triangles and 15 silver ones. 
  2. so next, i had to figure out how i would lay out the studs on the chucks in a design which i liked and which could actually be done with the limited number of studs i had. i started plotting both sides simultaneously to ensure that i had an equal number of studs for both sides.  i chose to embellish only the outer side of the sneakers and i wanted to avoid the tougher areas like the reinforced back, well, to make my life a little easier. 
  3. once the design was laid out, i started affixing the studs onto the first boot.  the studs i have are the type which have spikes on the back which you need to pierce the material with and bend back firmly to attach.  (i remember using these kind of studs back in the 80s when 'diamante' studs were all the rage!) not having a tool box to help me out in this i used an eraser-tipped pencil to help me out, using specifically the metal bit to help me fold the spikes back into the canvas.  obviously, i made some mistakes along the way and used a pair of tweezers to unfold and release the studs for re-positioning. note to self: a pair of pliers would have gone a very long way in helping here.
  4. once the first boot was ready i started working my way on the second boot.  the design somewhat developed from the originally planned one and i actually used less studs than what i had planned. 
  5. once the outside was ready, there was still work to do on the inside ... since i used the spikey studs, i had to make sure that the sneakers were actually comfortable to walk in (i'm planning on over-using them next week running around london).  i grabbed some fabric tape - the sort you use to hold bandages - and lined the studded area with it.  i would recommend applying at least two layers of such tape to avoid grazes and scratches, especially if you plan on wearing your chucks without socks.  
  6. and voilĂ , the finished result!
hope you enjoyed this little 'how-to' post! have you ever customised anything with studs or anything else really? let me know xxx

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